Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, was a great warrior. This invariably led defeated people to believe that he begot a cult of war and violence. Over the centuries, it has developed the ability to instill a sense of holy purpose onto its believers and soldiers, where they go into a battle of certain death for their faith in the holy war. The holy war is still a potent source of conflict and aversion, as many of the problems in the Middle East center around the issue of Islamic Fundamentalism and the holy wars. Originally, Islam was perceived by western historians as a religion of violence and conquest, "by preying on the caravans of the Quraish, Mohammed weakened them to the point of submission” (Anonymous, 1996).
Eventually these threats became real. Battles broke out and these battles turned to wars spanning from 1095 to 1229; all this over one city, Jerusalem, on country, Israel, one land, the Holy Land. Islamic forces had already conquered North Africa, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, and most of Spain by the 8th century. They also established bases in Italy, greatly reduced the size and power of the Byzantine Empire, and took over its capital, Constantinople. Islam was spreading even faster than the Islamic army was conquering.
Starting in the year 800, Viking raids interrupted life in northern Europe and even Mediterranean cities. But the greatest threat came from the forces of Islam. This was in consequence to Muhammad their notorious leader dying, in 632. “By the 8th century, Islamic forces had conquered North Africa, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, and most of Spain.” (Mayer, 3... ... middle of paper ... ...Christian banner so far from home, given the contemporary conditions of transport and communication, was impressive.”(Encarta, “Crusades”). The most important effect of the Crusades was economic.
During the early 700s, the Byzantine Empire was in turmoil and chaos. As Leo III took power, Constantinople was being attacked by Avars, Bulgarians, and Arabs. The Arabs from the Middle East were a main concern for Leo III because of their large conquests in the Asia Minor. The Arabs advanced to spread their faith of Islam and control resources. The Arabs slowly acquired land until their siege on Constantinople itself.
Conflicts between civilizations have existed since civilizations themselves were evolved, due to differences in culture, religion, and politics. While the clash between the dominantly Christian West and the Muslim East, is certainly due to these differences, it is also the product of centuries of stereotypes inflated by biased scholarly work. More importantly, the struggle that the United States faces today with the Muslim world can be traced back to a false sense of superiority among white Europeans and the fight for power and land. Following the birth of the Islam religion onto the Arabian Peninsula, it was documented in the Qur’an, which is believed to be the word of god as communicated to the prophet Muhammad, in the year 610 . The religion itself was similar to both Christianity and Judaism, but Westerners were ignorant to this fact and considered the followers as an ethnic group.
“Deus vult!” These two words would spark one of the most controversial events in history, the Crusades. Spoken by Pope Urban II, “Deus vult” means “God wills it” in Latin. These two simple words were said to inspire the masses of Europe. They would also cause the bloody conflict that would ravage the Holy Land and drag generations of warriors into the chaos. Today many believe the crusades were a war between Islam and Christianity.
Therefore, this united the tribes that became part of the Islamic Empire through the authority of a monotheistic state and religion. The Rashidun dynasty became the first to rule after the death of Muhammad. However, this decision created a divide amongst the two sects of Islam; the Sunnis and Shi`a. Their opposing views about legitimacy ignited the instability that would reign towards the end of the Rashidun rule and still marks for the tensions between the two groups in the Muslim community today. Yet, because of the expansion of Islam with the Near East, the caliphs had to draw in multiple
This was shocking because Christianity has spread throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in Late Antiquity. After Muslims captured Jerusalem in 1076, any Christian who wanted to pay a visit to the city of Jerusalem faced many obstacles because Muslim soldiers made it very dangerous for them to do so. Jerusalem is very important to Christians because it has lots of biblical references. In Europe the Pope along with the Papacy has assumed the power of utili... ... middle of paper ... ...rs rightfully thought belonged to them. For this reason the fighting of the First Crusade can be viewed as the war that started all Christian Religious wars or Crusaders that followed.
In the end the Crusades did not have a clear victor, but influenced our world today greatly. The Crusades brought many great things that ultimately impacted history in the middle ages because of its religious expansion, military conquest and trying to overthrow the muslims, and finally resorted to looting and stealing throughout their conquest. It is easily visible today that the Crusades really strayed away from its central goal of retaking Jerusalem, but was accomplished in some ways. It was believed that Jerusalem was conquered for many years, but that reign was short lived (Ables 1). Jerusalem was under Crusader rule for about 88 years, but under palestinian rule for 192 years (Knox 2).
The first and basic factor, always in the context of the history of Islam, is the theoretical foundation of fundamentalism. Also, another important issue is the rise of Islamic nationalism, which helps fundamentalism transform religious and cultural differences into an overt and brutal struggle against non-Muslim countries and their globalizing world. Of particular significance, however, is the poor economic development of Muslim states. Moreover, I believe it is the actual reason behind the violent outbreak of extremism. All these issues combine to form the idea of Islamic ideal versus reality, or the ever-increasing gap between modernity and the nature of fundamentalism.